In the Beginning

When you look at what constitutes the basis of law in the U.S., you first are introduced to a document that is not a part of our law at all. It is used by the Supreme Court to decide constitutionality through the thinking of a group of men referred to as the Founders.
That document is the Declaration of Independence and tells the world what we, as a free people, expect from our government and some of the things that can de-legitimize even our present form of government. It served as an announcement to Great Britain and the world that we were serious about gaining our freedom. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were both conceived, written and ratified during the three Continental Congresses convened between 1774, the same year that hostilities began (Battle of Mt. Pleasant, VA, Oct. 10) and March of 1789, when our modern form of government took over. 

The Constitution (written by the Framers) spells out the purpose, duties and formation of the U.S. Government and its relationship with the States and their citizens. It limits itself to coordination and to functions and powers that would be problematic if left to each state to handle on its own.

The Courts may also use the 75 essays written to explain and argue for ratification of the Constitution. These are known as the Federalist Papers and give an insight into the Framers thinking.

The installation of a Supreme Court judge seems to be very contentious at times. This is based on ideological differences between our two main political parties. It is about allowing or not allowing political activists to become the interpreters of the Law of the Land. One party advocating an interpretation more in line with the thinking of the Founders and Framers and the other a more liberal view.

No one would expect that an eighteenth century document truly anticipated social problems two hundred years hence. They obviously put a lot of thought into writing a document that could guide our country faithfully through most situations with minimal change. Even some of the amendments were for a particular time and situation and today are being stretched to the breaking point for political reasons. For instance allowing “anchor babies’ to give illegal immigrants a foothold here, should not be done under a law which declares  several generations of former slaves and their children, born in the U.S., as bonified citizens.

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